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6 November 2018
Crew 21, Pilot Robert Richard Mitchell – 462 Squadron RAAF

 

Terence Liddell Maguire, Robert Richard Mitchell, William McCorkindale and Albert Eric Thornton at 20 OTU, RAF Milltown, March 1944, later posted to 462 Squadron.
Photo supplied by and used with the permission of the McCorkindale Family.

Above: Four members of the newly formed Mitchell Crew at 20 OTU, RAF Milltown, near Lossiemouth, March 1944.
Left to right: MU/AG Terry Maguire, Pilot Bob Mitchell, Nav Bill McCorkindale and R/AG Bert Thornton.

A cropped version of this photo is on page 218 of "To See the Dawn Again".

 

Crew 21, 462 Squadron, Driffield, Yorkshire

Pilot: Robert Richard MITCHELL (Bob) KIA
Rear Gunner: Albert Eric THORNTON (Bert) KIA
Mid-Upper Gunner: Terence Liddell MAGUIRE (Terry) PoW
Wireless Operator: Robert Walter SCOTT (Scotty) Evader
Flight Engineer: Albert KELLARD PoW
Previous Crew Members: Bomb Aimer and W/OP
Bomb Aimer for Op 2 Nov 1944: Ronald James SMITH (Bunny) PoW
Bomb Aimer: James Fergus LATIMER (Jim)
Navigator: William McCORKINDALE (Bill) PoW

Mitchell and Thornton were killed on a night Op to Düsseldorf on 2 November 1944, in Halifax III MZ401 Z5-D. The other 5 in the crew were taken as Prisoners of War, however Scott escaped half an hour after capture and successfully evaded until 26 November when he met with American troops. Smith was the substitute Bomb Aimer for that Op, replacing Latimer.

No photos of W/Op SCOTT or F/Eng KELLARD are yet available – if you can assist, please make contact.

Links to additional Crew information, and Crew Ops,
Nav McCorkindale's Log Book; Nav McCorkindale's PoW Memorabilia;
Nav McCorkindale's Letters and Memoir; MZ401 Aircraft Loss.
Reference sources – Australian WW2 Nominal Roll; The National Archives of Australia (Service Files, Casualty Files, Loss of Aircraft File, 462 Squadron Operational Record Book); Australian War Memorial (Roll of Honour); Commonwealth War Graves Commission; the family of Bomb Aimer J F Latimer; the family of Navigator William McCorkindale;
Oliver Clutton-Brock's "Footprints on the Sands of Time"; Batten's "Phoenix – Book 2"; and Lax & Kane-Maguire's "To See the Dawn Again" (refer Acknowledgements).
See also Commemorative Panel at AWM.

 

 

Albert Eric Thornton, William McCorkindale, Robert Richard Mitchell, and Pat McCarthy at 20 OTU, RAF Milltown, March 1944; three of four later posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield.

Above, L to R: R/AG Albert Eric Thornton, Nav William McCorkindale, Pilot Robert Richard Mitchell, and Bomb Aimer Pat McCarthy at 20 OTU, RAF Milltown, March 1944. McCarthy later left the crew.

 

 

Pat McCarthy, William McCorkindale, Albert Eric Thornton and Terence Liddell Maguire at 20 OTU, RAF Milltown, March 1944; three of four later posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield.

Above, L to R: B/A Pat McCarthy, Nav William McCorkindale, R/AG Albert Eric Thornton and MU/AG Terence Liddell Maguire at 20 OTU, RAF Milltown, March 1944.

 

 

Robert Richard Mitchell, at 20 OTU, RAF Milltown, March 1944, later posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield.Terence Liddell Maguire, at 20 OTU, RAF Milltown, March 1944, later posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield.

Above, left: Pilot Robert Richard Mitchell, at 20 OTU, RAF Milltown, March 1944, beside the same stone wall as for the group photos.
Above right: MU/AG Terence Liddell Maguire, at 20 OTU, RAF Milltown, March 1944, on the path beside the stream (path in background of next photo).

 

 

William McCorkindale at 20 OTU, RAF Milltown, March 1944, later posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield.

Above: Nav William McCorkindale at 20 OTU, RAF Milltown, March 1944, beside the stone wall, which may be a bridge over the stream, with a pathway in background (previous photo). Original photo labelled as "RAF Milltown, Spring 1944 (Elgin)."

 

 

Pat McCarthy and William McCorkindale at 20 OTU, RAF Milltown, March 1944; Bill later posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield.

Above: B/A Pat McCarthy and Nav William McCorkindale at 20 OTU, RAF Milltown, March 1944. The large building in the background appears to be an aircraft hangar.

 

 

William McCorkindale and Robert Richard Mitchell at 20 OTU, RAF Milltown, March 1944; later posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield.

Above: Nav William McCorkindale and Pilot Robert Richard Mitchell at 20 OTU, RAF Milltown, March 1944.

 

Terence Liddell Maguire, in Edinburgh Castle Hospital, possibly April/May 1944, later posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield.

Above: MU/AG Terence Liddell Maguire, in Edinburgh Castle Hospital for reasons unknown (photo tagged "Terry temporarily indisposed"). This and the photo on the right were both dated as February 1944, but that was before the crew formed at 20 OTU. In February 1945, Terry was a PoW in Germany.

 

 

Terence Liddell Maguire and Albert Eric Thornton some where in Edinburgh, possibly on leave in April/May 1944, later posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield.

Above: Terence Liddell Maguire and Albert Eric Thornton somewhere in Edinburgh, very foggy, with view indistinct. It does not appear to be at Edinburgh Castle. Is it at Arthur's Seat? Possibly April/May 1944, while on leave after posting from 20 OTU near Lossiemouth (on/after 14 April), but before posting to 1652 HCU Marston Moor in Yorkshire (first flight 24 May). Photo 'incorrectly' dated February 1944, before the crew formed at 20 OTU.
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Headstone on grave for Robert Richard Mitchell, 418452 RAAF, 462 Squadron.
Photo by John Dann, UK, © Copyright 2013.

The inscription reads:
PILOT OFFICER
R. R. MITCHELL
ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE
2ND NOVEMBER 1944 AGE 21

LOVED SON OF NORMAN ST. JOHN
AND GLADYS MITCHELL
OF MELBOURNE


 

 

Pilot

Name: Robert Richard MITCHELL (Bob)
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 418452
Date of Birth: 7 December 1922
Place of Birth: Brunswick, Victoria
Date of Enlistment: 22 May 1942
Place of Enlistment: Melbourne, Victoria
Marital Status: Single
Next of Kin: Norman Mitchell
Date of Death: 2 November 1944
Rank at Death: Pilot Officer
Posting at Death: 462 Squadron RAAF, Driffield
Prisoner of War: No
Roll of Honour: Prahran, Victoria
Roll of Honour: Panel 109, Commemorative Area,
Australian War Memorial, Canberra
Age at Death: 21
Grave reference: Joint grave VI. C. 4-5
Cemetery: Hotton War Cemetery, Belgium
Son of Norman St. John Mitchell and Gladys Maud Mitchell,
of South Yarra, Victoria

 

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Headstone on grave for Albert Eric Thornton, 436120 RAAF, 462 Squadron.
Photo by John Dann, UK, © Copyright 2013.

The inscription reads:
436120 FLIGHT SERGEANT
A. E. THORNTON
ROYAL AUSTRALIAN AIR FORCE
2ND NOVEMBER 1944 AGE 21

A WONDERFUL NATURE
GOOD AND KIND
A BEAUTIFUL MEMORY
LEFT BEHIND

 

 

Rear Gunner

Name: Albert Eric THORNTON (Bert)
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 436120
Date of Birth: 12 March 1923
Place of Birth: Geelong, Victoria
Date of Enlistment: 11 November 1942
Place of Enlistment: Perth, Western Australia
Marital Status:
Next of Kin: Norman Thornton
Date of Death: 2 November 1944
Rank at Death: Flight Sergeant
Posting at Death: 462 Squadron RAAF, Driffield
Prisoner of War: No
Roll of Honour: Inverleigh, Victoria
Roll of Honour: Panel 109, Commemorative Area,
Australian War Memorial, Canberra
Age at Death: 21
Grave reference: Joint grave VI. C. 4-5
Cemetery: Hotton War Cemetery, Belgium
Son of Norman Leslie Thornton and Lilian Elsie Thornton,
of Inverleigh, Victoria.

 

From a headstone photo supplied by the McCorkindale Family, the transcription has been verified as correct (lower section obscured by plants in photo at left).

 

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Mid-Upper Gunner

Name: Terence Liddell MAGUIRE (Terry)
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 430548
Date of Birth: 14 December 1923
Place of Birth: Middle Park, Victoria
Date of Enlistment: 16 February 1943
Place of Enlistment: Melbourne, Victoria
Marital Status: Single
Next of Kin: Thomas Maguire
Date of Discharge: 31 January 1946
Rank at Discharge: Warrant Officer
Posting at Discharge: 462 Squadron
Prisoner of War: Yes
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Wireless Operator

Name: Robert Walter SCOTT (Scotty)
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 418184 (A310601)
Date of Birth: 7 October 1918
Place of Birth: Newport, Victoria
Date of Enlistment: 25 April 1942
Place of Enlistment: Melbourne, Victoria
Marital Status: Single
Next of Kin: Walter Scott
Date of Discharge: 5 April 1957
Rank at Discharge: Warrant Officer (T)
Posting at Discharge: PHU
Prisoner of War: No (was Yes briefly, then Escapee/Evader)
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Flight Engineer

Name: Albert KELLARD
Service: Royal Air Force
Service Number: 2205580
Date of Birth: 27 March 1914
Marital Status: ......
Next of Kin: Isaac Kellard (father)
Posting: 462 Squadron RAAF, Driffield
Prisoner of War: Yes

Kellard stated on his Crew Arrival Form at 462 Squadron that he was not married, and listed his father Isaac as next-of-kin. An additional person was named as Florence LAGAR, of Warrington, later identified as Kellard's partner of four years, with their child Mary. In the aircraft loss file, later documents recorded a wife, Mrs A Kellard, Chester, whose particulars as next-of-kin had not been given to the Squadron by Kellard. It seems that he was 'separated', but not divorced, and had made a new life elsewhere, with circumstances preventing legal re-marriage.

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Previous members of the crew during training, 20 OTU, RAF Milltown.
If you can assist with identification, please make contact.

Bomb Aimer: Pat McCARTHY
Included in crew photos at 20 OTU in previous section. Identified as Australian, however investigations have not yet revealed his full name and RAAF Service Number. Was Pat an abbreviation for Patrick? Was it his first or second given name? Or was it just a nickname? Was his surname Mc or Mac? Was it ...Carthy or ...Carthey? At 1652 HCU Marston Moor, Pat was replaced by James Fergus Latimer.

Wireless Operator: Not included in any of the crew photos at 20 OTU, RAF Milltown (satellite for RAF Lossiemouth) and no mention of a W/Op in any of the McCorkindale papers. In the RAAF Aircraft Loss File for MZ401/D, there was a letter to the WingCo at 462 Squadron, dated 10 December 1944 from F/Sgt D. DESIMONE 1395715, Sergeant's Mess, RAF Lossiemouth, Morayshire, Scotland. He stated that he "was for a time, one of Aus. 418452 F/S Mitchell's crew" and was inquiring regarding the loss of that crew. He asked after Pilot Mitchell, and also asked for the names of other members of the crew. He particularly requested the name, rank etc of the crew's current Wireless Operator. His requests were refused by the Squadron WingCo for security reasons. Was F/Sgt D. Desimone was the crew's original W/Op at 20 OTU, later replaced by Robert Walter SCOTT.
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Substitute Bomb Aimer on the night of 2 November 1944

Ronald James SMITH, 12060 RAAF, Bomb Aimer, 462 Squadron, Driffield.
Photo from the National Archives of Australia: A9300, 12060

Name: Ronald James SMITH (Bunny)
Service: Royal Australian Air Force
Service Number: 12060
Date of Birth: 24 December 1912
Place of Birth: Goulburn, New South Wales
Date of Enlistment: 15 January 1940
Place of Enlistment: Richmond, NSW
Marital Status: Married
Next of Kin: Elsie Smith
Date of Discharge: 5 February 1946
Rank at Discharge: Flight Lieutenant
Posting at Discharge: 462 Squadron
Prisoner of War: Yes

In the photo above, dated 02 July 1942 during training (location not yet known), Ronald James Smith is at the rank of Air Craftman.
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Bomb Aimer

Warrant Officer James Fergus LATIMER, 1551478 RAFVR, Bomb Aimer, 462 Squadron, Driffield & Foulsham.
Photo from the James Fergus Latimer Collection,
supplied by Colin & Katrina Carr
.

Name: James Fergus LATIMER (Jim)
Service: Royal Air Force
Service Number: 1551478
Date of Enlistment: mid-1942 aged 18 *
Place of Enlistment: Edinburgh, Scotland *
Posting: 462 Squadron RAAF, Driffield & Foulsham

In the photo above, Warrant Officer Jim Latimer is wearing his Medal Ribbon Bar below his Observer's Badge. The photo was taken sometime after April 1945 when he had been posted from 462 Squadron. His last Op and Posting information there listed him as Flight Sergeant. Please also view the photos below.

* From the website http://www.ab-ix.co.uk/rfc_raf.pdf which details RFC and RAF Service Numbers. No. 1550001 to No. 1575000 were allocated from May 1941 at Edinburgh. This batch includes J. F. Latimer.

 

James Fergus Latimer, in September 2017, Bomb Aimer, 462 Squadron, Driffield and Foulsham.
Photo from the James Fergus Latimer Collection,
supplied by Colin & Katrina Carr
.

James Fergus Latimer, in September 2017. One of the photos he is holding is that of himself as Warrant Officer, as shown previously.

 

James Fergus Latimer and wife Jean, Wedding Day, 27 March 1948, previously Bomb Aimer in 462 Squadron, Driffield and Foulsham.
Photo from the James Fergus Latimer Collection,
supplied by Colin & Katrina Carr
.

James Fergus Latimer and wife Jean, on their Wedding Day, 27 March 1948. The church was St Paul's, Kersal Moor in Prestwich, Manchester.

 

James Fergus Latimer and wife Jean, March 2018, at home, 70th Wedding Anniversary (Bomb Aimer 462 Squadron, Driffield and Foulsham).
Photo from the James Fergus Latimer Collection,
supplied by Colin & Katrina Carr
.

James Fergus Latimer aged 94, and wife Jean aged 91, at home on the 24 March 2018, in readiness for the celebration of their 70th Wedding Anniversary on 27 March. Congratulations!

 

 

James Fergus Latimer and wife Jean, March 2018, 70th Wedding Anniversary (Bomb Aimer 462 Squadron, Driffield and Foulsham).
Photo from the James Fergus Latimer Collection,
supplied by Colin & Katrina Carr
.

James Fergus Latimer and wife Jean, out for dinner with family members for the Celebration of their 70th Wedding Anniversary. Their wedding photo, taken at St Paul's on 27 March 1948, is shown above.

 

 

James Fergus Latimer and Jean - 70th Wedding Anniversary 27 March 2018 - Queen's Card
Photo from the James Fergus Latimer Collection, supplied by Colin & Katrina Carr.

Above: Queen Elizabeth's Congratulatory Card to "Mr and Mrs James Latimer" on their
70th Wedding Anniversary, 27 March 2018 (framed for posterity).
Transcription as follows ....
"I send you my warm congratulations on the celebration of your Platinum Wedding anniversary
on 27th March, 2018. May your celebrations be particularly happy and memorable.
Elizabeth R"
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Navigator

Name: William McCORKINDALE (Bill)
Service: Royal Air Force
Service Number: 1568425
Date of Birth: 22 March 1923
Date of Enlistment: From May 1941 *
Place of Enlistment: Edinburgh, Scotland *
Marital Status: Single
Next of Kin: Jean McCorkindale (Mother)
Posting: 462 Squadron RAAF, Driffield
Prisoner of War: Yes

* From the website http://www.ab-ix.co.uk/rfc_raf.pdf which details RFC and RAF Service Numbers. No. 1550001 to No. 1575000 were allocated from May 1941 at Edinburgh. This batch includes William McCorkindale whose next-of-kin lived in Glasgow.

Right, top: Studio photo of Air Craftman William McCorkindale, 1568425 RAFVR, December 1942, aged 19 years and 9 months, at or soon after enlistment. The Volunteer Reserve (VR) badge can be seen on his upper sleeve. The photographer's mark appears to be Skarp, Hamilton. His home address at the time was High Blantyre, Glasgow.

Right, bottom: Formal photo of four trainee airmen, all at the rank of Air Craftman (AC), while in training at No 10 Initial Training Wing (10 ITW), Scarborough, January 1943.
From left to right:
1. Bill SPENCER (killed in accident, Canada); (AC Spencer, R.W.) **
2. Bill McCORKINDALE; (AC McCorkindale, W.)
3. Bob RUTTER; (AC Rutter, R.S.)
4. Jack ROEBUCK. (AC Roebuck, J.S.)
These four are also marked in the group photo below, identified by the blue numbers 1 to 4. They had not met prior to their posting to 10 ITW.

** (LAC Robert William SPENCER, 1685428, RAFVR, UK, death 01 April 1944, aged 19, buried at Ottawa (Beechwood) Cemetery, Sec 29, Lot 4, Grave 164; son of Robert William & Elizabeth Davison SPENCER of Washington, Co. Durham, England. Reference CWGC online)

 

William McCorkindale, 1568425 RAFVR, December 1942; later Navigator at 462 Squadron, Driffield.
Photo supplied by and used with the permission of the McCorkindale Family.

Spencer, William McCorkindale, Rutter, Roebuck, 10 ITW, Scarborough, January 1943
Photo supplied by and used with the permission of the McCorkindale Family.

   

 

Group of Trainees and Instructors, No. 1 Flight, No. 2 Squadron, 10 Initial Training Wing (10 ITW), Scarborough; January 1943, including Air Craftman William McCorkindale, later posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield.
Names for Group of Trainees and Instructors, No. 1 Flight, No. 2 Squadron, 10 Initial Training Wing (10 ITW), Scarborough; January 1943, including Air Craftman William McCorkindale, later posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield.

Group of Trainees and Instructors, No. 1 Flight, No. 2 Squadron, 10 Initial Training Wing (10 ITW), Scarborough, January 1943.
Included is Air Craftman William McCorkindale, circled in blue, under the number 2.
Trainees under No. 1, 3, and 4 match the four named in the preceding photo.

Group of 43 – 1 Flying Officer (FO), 1 Sergeant (Sgt); 5 Corporal (Cpl); 1 Leading Air Craftman (LAC); 35 Air Craftman (AC).

 

Headstone for Robert Richard Mitchell and Albert Eric Thornton at Hotton Cemetery, 1995.

Headstones for Robert Richard Mitchell and Albert Eric Thornton at Hotton Cemetery, Belgium, 24 March 1995, before replanting.

The March 1995 visit to the Commonwealth War Graves Cemetery at Hotton was planned by Bill McCorkindale, who travelled with his second son Alan. Coincidentally, it was a few days after Bill's 72nd birthday, but it had not planned as a birthday trip. Alan, his wife Lucy and their four children made a return visit to Hotton Cemetery several years ago, and report that the cemetery is beautifully kept, as are all CWGC cemeteries.

Hotton Cemetery: also Nelder's Crew 28 LL599 Z5-E, 6 graves;
and Rohrlach's Crew 48 MZ469 Z5-N, 7 graves.

 

William McCorkindale at headstones for Robert Richard Mitchell and Albert Eric Thornton at Hotton Cemetery, Friday 24 March 1995. (462 Squadron, Driffield)William McCorkindale at headstones for Robert Richard Mitchell and Albert Eric Thornton at Hotton Cemetery, 25 March 1995. (462 Squadron, Driffield)

Above left: William McCorkindale at headstones for Robert Richard Mitchell and Albert Eric Thornton at Hotton Cemetery, Friday 24 March 1995, in readiness for replanting garden.

Above right: William McCorkindale at headstones for Robert Richard Mitchell and Albert Eric Thornton at Hotton Cemetery, on a rainy Saturday 25 March 1995, after replanting of garden with flowering primroses, and a small perennial shrub.

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Additional Crew Information (Information sourced from National Archives of Australia Series A11385 Loss of Aircraft File containing Air Crew Arrival Forms; PoW information from the book "Footprints on the Sands of Time" by Oliver Clutton-Brock, 2003; and also from the NAA Series A705 Casualty Files for Aussie members of this crew. As of 1 November 2014, Series A9300 and A9301 Service Files for the RAAF members of this crew had not yet been digitised, so their enlistment and training information is not available. Some details about Smith's previous postings at 466 Squadron have been sourced from "Brave and True" by Stan Parker and John McManus DFC, 2007.)

462 Squadron Operational Record Book, Form 540, page 12, September 1944, Part II Administration.
02 September 1944 – Flying Officer McGINDLE, F/Sgt MITCHELL and crews, reported to the Squadron for flying duties, on posting from No. 640 and No. 102 Squadrons respectively.

There are several errors in the Squadron ORB for this crew's names, rank and service numbers, causing some identification problems.
Mitchell – error as Mithell.
McCorkindale 1568425 – error as McCorrkindale; and error as 1688425 and 1688525.
F/Sgt R W Scott – error as Sgt.
Latimer – error as Lattimer.
A Kellard 2205580 – error as S Kellard or F Kellard; and error as 220558 and 1105580 (on Arrival Form as Albert).
T L Maguire 430548 – error as G L; also error as McGuire and McQuire and Maquire.

From the website for 102 (Ceylon) Squadron at Pocklington:- on 3 August 1944, just one month before their posting on to 462 Squadron, the same crew (Mitchell, McCorkindale, Latimer, Scott, Maguire, Thornton and Kellard) is listed for Halifax LW134 DY-L which overshot on landing after an Op to Forêt de Nieppe (see also later section showing Nav McCorkindale's Log Book, aircraft listed as 'L" but with different Serial Number).

It seems that the Mitchell crew may have missed out on official crew photo at Driffield, as no photo has been located of them at the usual place beside the Respirator Workshop. Kellard is not shown in the Flight Engineer's group photo at Driffield. That photo must have been taken after 06 November 1944, as it includes F/Eng Newstead of Anderson's Crew 45, posted to 462 Squadron on that date. Kellard and the Mitchell crew Failed to Return on the night of 02 November 1944. At the time of the Foulsham group photos, the Mitchell crew were either deceased, or PoWs, or repatriated to Australia (Evader Scott, on 19 January 1945).

Robert Richard Mitchell 418452 RAAF – Pilot.
2 September 1944 – Mitchell arrived at 462 Squadron on posting from 102 Squadron, Pocklington, 4 Group. His rank was Flight Sergeant, attained on the 8 October 1943. His Type of Service was Duration of Present Emergency (DPE), and his Aircrew Category was Pilot. His next-of-kin was his father, Norman St. John Mitchell, of 7 Coolullah Avenue, South Yarra, SE1, Victoria. An additional contact person was his cousin, Mrs Noelle Stocker, 14 Lynton Mead, Totteridge, N20, London. His religion was Church of England and his Medical Category was A1B, A2B. Types of aircraft previously flown were DH82, Anson, Oxford, Wellington III and X, Halifax II and Halifax III. Although his marital status was single, a Fiancée in the UK was referred to in his Casualty File.
3 September 1944 – first Op with crew at 462 Squadron.
Mitchell was Pilot/Captain of Crew 21, for 14 Ops while posted to 462 Squadron.
2 November 1944 – last Op with crew; Killed in Action
After the Pilot/Captain Flight Sergeant Robert Richard Mitchell was listed as Missing, he was granted a Commission to Pilot Officer, retrospective to 4 July 1944. Documents were then amended to show his new Rank, and he is therefore recorded as Pilot Officer at the CWGC, AWM etc. However at the time of his death, he would not have been wearing officer's clothing or brevets.

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAF – Navigator.
2 September 1944 – McCorkindale arrived at 462 Squadron on posting from 102 Squadron, Pocklington. His rank was Sergeant, attained on the 28 January 1944. His Type of Service was DPE, and his Aircrew Category was Navigator. His next-of-kin was his mother, Mrs Jean McCorkindale, 17 Stonefield Crescent, High Blantyre, Glasgow, Scotland. His religion was Church of Scotland and his Medical Category was A1B, A3B. Types of aircraft previously flown were Anson, Wellington, Halifax II and Halifax III. He was single.
Details of his training are included with his Log Book in a later section.
A 3-page compilation of the Crew's Ops and events was written for the McCorkindale Family on 31 January 1995, with Bill's assistance, and with reference to his Log Book. It is included here as an attached pdf file – Mitchell_Crew_Ops_and_Events_McCorkindale_web.pdf (The document has been left unchanged from the original, except for the addition of an identifying watermark.)
Scans of Bill's log Book may be viewed an a later section.
3 September 1944 – first Op with Mitchell crew at 462 Squadron.
McCorkindale was Navigator for all 14 Ops with Crew 21, Pilot/Captain Mitchell.
2 November 1944 – last Op with Mitchell crew.
McCorkindale was Prisoner of War at Stalag Luft 7, PoW Number 1154, also Stalag Luft III and Stalag IIIA.
He always regretted leaving his Ingersoll watch on his Nav table in the aircraft, before he baled out, but fortunately was wearing his neck scarf and fur-collar jacket – refer to later PoW Memorabilia section.
After the war, Bill married Jean, and they had 2 sons. Bill died in 2015, aged 92, after suffering from Alzheimer's. Jean died in April 2017.

Robert Walter Scott 418184 RAAF – Wireless Operator.
2 September 1944 – Scott arrived at 462 Squadron on posting from 102 Squadron, Pocklington. His substantive rank was Flight Sergeant, attained on the 1st October 1943. His Type of Service was DPE, and his Aircrew Category was Wireless Operator Air Gunner. His next-of-kin was his father, Walter Robert Scott, 341 Park St., South Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. An additional contact person was a friend, Mr Eric Hardy, 12 Second Avenue, York, Yorkshire. His religion was Church of England. His Medical Category was not recorded. Types of aircraft previously flown were Wackett, Anson, Fairy Battle (sic, Fairey), Wellington, Halifax II and Halifax III. He was single.
3 September 1944 – first Op with Mitchell crew at 462 Squadron.
Scott was Wireless Operator for 13 Ops with Crew 21, Pilot/Captain Mitchell.
2 November 1944 – last Op with Mitchell crew.
Scott was taken Prisoner of War on the night of 3/4 November 1944, however he escaped within half an hour of capture after being left alone and unrestrained in an unlocked room. He then evaded capture, with some local assistance, until 26 November 1944 when he met with American troops.
01 December 1944 – Safe in Brussels.
02 December 1944 – Safe in the UK, one month to the day after the Halifax had been shot down.
19 January 1945 – Repatriated to Australia by ship.
22 February 1945 – Disembarked and posted to 2 PD, Sydney, but immediately proceeded on leave, "medically and mentally fit".
No PoW number is recorded, and he is not listed in Clutton-Brock's book.

James Fergus Latimer 1551478 RAF – original Bomb Aimer for Mitchell's crew. (photos in previous section)
No Air Crew Arrival form has been located for Latimer.
2 September 1944 – assumed date of arrival at 462 Squadron on posting from 102 Squadron, Pocklington, with his Pilot Mitchell and other members of that crew. F/Sgt Latimer's name was included in the Air Crew NCO's Posted TO the Squadron during September 1944, ORB, Form 540, page 13.
3 September 1944 – The Mitchell Crew's first Op at 462 Squadron.
In September and October 1944, Latimer was Bomb Aimer for the first 13 Ops with Crew 21, Pilot/Captain Mitchell, and for 1 Op with Pilot Sanderson and crew (early return).
2 November 1944 – Latimer was replaced by Bomb Aimer Ronald James Smith for a night bombing attack on Düsseldorf, so avoided being taken PoW or possibly being Killed, when that aircraft was listed as Missing (details in later section).
29 December 1944 – Latimer transferred with 462 Squadron from Driffield to Foulsham, travelling by train with the Main Party.
Latimer later flew 2 Ops as Bomb Aimer in Crew 14 with S/Ldr Colin William Jackson (1 each in December 1944 and March 1945), effectively swapping crews with the less fortunate Smith. After 462 Squadron relocated to Foulsham, Latimer also took on the role of "Window" Dispenser, flying 12 Ops in this role for several crews – 1 Op each with Jackson, Uther, Anderson, and Langworthy crews, 2 Ops with James Crew, and 6 Ops with the Boyd Crew.
Total Ops at 462 Squadron as recorded in the ORB – 28, but 2 Ops had "landings away", one was an early return, and one was a recall.
Latimer was posted FROM 462 Squadron in April 1945, at the rank of Flight Sergeant.
He may be seen in the group photo of Bomb Aimers, March 1945 on the 462 Squadron Foulsham page.

In December 1993, Dennis G. James compiled a 32-page record of Jim's RAF career in Bomber Command for Jim's Family, with reference to Jim and his Log Book. That document is included here as an attached pdf file – James_Fergus_LATIMER_BC_career_web.pdf (Please note, there are a few errors in the document, but it has been left unchanged from the original, except for the addition of an identifying watermark.)
A brief summary of his flying service history from that document – (note that he enlisted in the RAF in Scotland, not the RCAF in Canada)
March 1943 to early May 1943 – 4 Bombing and Gunnery School, Fingal, Canada
May 1943 to ...... – 31 Navigation School, Port Albert, Ontario, Canada
1 Bombing and Gunnery School, Jarvis, Ontario, Canada
November 1943 – 1476 Advanced Ship Recognition Flight, Orkney Islands
December 1943 to February 1944 – 8 (Observers) Advanced Flying Unit, at Mona, Anglesey, Wales, training in Anson aircraft
March 1944 to April 1944 – 20 Operational Training Unit, Moreton-in-Marsh, training in Wellington aircraft; 18 April 1944 his training crew dropped propaganda leaflets over Paris in a night Op.
May 1944 to July 1944 – 1652 Heavy Conversion Unit, Marston Moor, where he joined the Mitchell Crew (04 July) training in Halifax aircraft
July to August 1944 – 102 (Ceylon) Squadron – 10 Ops with Mitchell crew
September to December 1944 – 462 Squadron Driffield with Mitchell crew prior to their FTR on 02 November, then with various crews
January to March 1945 – 462 Squadron Driffield with various crews

In March 2018, Jim is alive and well, aged 94, and living in Manchester, England. His 70th Wedding Anniversary was celebrated with wife Jean and family on 27 March 2018. He has been one of the subjects of a recent book ( "The Last Heroes" by Gary Bridson-Daley, published 17 October 2017; ISBN 9780750985734 ); and has appeared in two newspaper articles, the first in the Daily Record on 12 November 2017, and the second in the Bury Times on 21 March 2018.
To view, please copy and paste the following links to your browser ....
https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/scotland-now/after-seven-decades-humble-hero-11506508
and .....
http://www.burytimes.co.uk/news/16101265.Couple_to_celebrate___39_wonderful__wonderful__39__life_on_70th_anniversary/

The Daily Record newspaper article mentioned that Jim undertook 46 missions (Ops) over Europe (46 is perhaps a newspaper misprint?). He carried out 10 Ops at 102 Squadron with the Mitchell Crew, prior to posting to 462 Squadron where he carried out another 14 Ops at Driffield, and a further 12 Ops at Foulsham.
The article also mentions that Jim enlisted at Edinburgh, in mid-1942, aged 18, and later trained in Canada.
The Bury Times newspaper article mentioned that Jim, now 94, and Jean now 91, met when Jim was stationed at Heaton Park during WW2, when he was 18 and Jean was 16. Jim was at the Rank of Warrant Officer when he left the RAF. After the war, he worked for the Labour Exchange, but later went into business for himself. Jim and Jean married on 27 March 1948, just 3 days after Jean turned 21. In the next few years, they had 1 son and 3 daughters. Jean had been a singer and piano player, and had secured a full scholarship to study at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), but had turned it down to stay with Jim. (RAF Heaton Park, Manchester, WW2, training location for new RAF recruits.)

Information from Jim's daughter Katrina and her husband Colin Carr –
Jim was born in Scotland and moved to Toronto, Canada at an early age. He later returned to Scotland. After enlistment in the RAF, he undertook training at 4 Bombing and Gunnery School (4 BAGS), Fingal, Ontario, Canada, with his first flight on 09 March 1943. After further training in the UK, he joined the Mitchell crew, and was posted to 102 Squadron, Pocklington. His first operational flight with the crew was on 28 July 1944 to to Le Forêt de Nieppe in Pas de Calais in a raid on V-1 sites. (V-1 flying bomb or buzz bomb).
The Church in which Jim and Jean Latimer married was St Paul's, Kersal Moor in Prestwich, Manchester. They have lived in the same Parish all of their married life, and have lived at their current address in Prestwich for 40 years. The family has expanded to now include grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Over the years and until his retirement, Jim had owned and run a corner shop, greengrocers, fishmongers, and latterly newsagents.

Ronald James Smith 12060 RAAF – substitute Bomb Aimer.
16 May 1944 – Smith arrived at 466 Squadron, Driffield, on posting from 1652 Heavy Conversion Unit, Marston Moor.
Smith's substantive rank was Flying Officer, attained on the 6th December 1943. His Type of Service was Aircrew General Duties, DPE, and his Aircrew Category was Air Bomber. His next-of-kin was his wife, Elsie Smith, 20 Moore Park Road, Paddington, Sydney, Australia. His religion was Church of England. His Medical Category was not recorded. Types of aircraft previously flown were Anson, Bolingbroke, Wellington IIIC, Halifax II. His marriage was on 6 June 1938.
May to August 1944 – Smith, Pilot/Captain Colin William Jackson, & Crew 122 carried out 31 Ops while posted to 466 Squadron.
20 August 1994 – Smith, F/O Colin William Jackson and Crew 122 were posted from 466 Squadron Driffield to 462 Squadron Driffield, to become Crew 14. Jackson was later promoted to Squadron Leader. (See the Jackson Crew page for photos of Smith with that crew.)
27 August 1944 – Smith's first Op at 462 Squadron with Pilot Jackson and Crew 14 in Halifax III LL600, target Homberg.
Smith also subsequently flew in Crew 22 with F/O Paul Dean Wilson; and Crew 15 with F/L Peter Hamilton Finley.
2 November 1944 – Smith replaced Latimer for night Op to Düsseldorf, his first and only Op with the Mitchell crew.
Smith was Prisoner of War at Stalag Luft 3, PoW Number 8818. His Casualty File also records that he was initially taken as PoW to Dulag Luft (Durchgangslager der Luftwaffe – air force transit camp), then sent to Stalag Luft 3 in Belaria.
17 May 1945 – Safe in UK
30 May 1945 – Embarked from UK for repatriation to Australia.
07 July 19545 – Disembarked in Australia, and proceeded on Leave until 30 July, with posting to 2 Med. Rehab. Unit recommended on return from leave.
He attained the rank of Flight Lieutenant before he was discharged from the RAAF on 5 February 1946.

Albert Kellard 2205580 RAF – Flight Engineer.
2 September 1944 – assumed date of arrival at 462 Squadron, on posting from 102 Squadron, Pocklington with Mitchell and crew (date and previous posting not recorded on his arrival form).
His rank was Sergeant, attained on the 20 March 1944. His Type of Service was DPE, and his Aircrew Category was Flight Engineer. His next-of-kin was his father, Isaac Kellard, 37 Suffolk Street, Chester. An additional contact person was Florence Lagar, 26 Charter Ave, Bewsey, Warrington, Lancs. (relationship not recorded). His religion was Church of England and his Medical Category was A1B, A3B. Type of aircraft previously flown were Halifax III. He was single.
3 September 1944 – first Op with Mitchell crew at 462 Squadron.
Kellard was Flight Engineer for all 14 Ops with Crew 21, Pilot/Captain Mitchell.
2 November 1944 – last Op with Mitchell crew.
Kellard was Prisoner of War at Stalag Luft 7, PoW Number 1146. Kellard is not shown in the Flight Engineer's group photo at Driffield. That photo, which includes F/Eng Newstead of Anderson's Crew 45, must have been taken after 06 November when the Anderson were posted to the Squadron. Kellard and the Michell crew Failed to Return on the night of 02 November.

Terence Liddell Maguire 430548 RAAF – Mid-Upper Gunner.
2 September 1944 – Maguire arrived at 462 Squadron on posting from 102 Squadron, Pocklington. His rank was Flight Sergeant, attained on the 16th March 1944 (same date as Thornton). His Type of Service was DPE, and his Aircrew Category was Air Gunner. His next-of-kin was his father, Thomas Edward Maguire, 245 Beaconsfield Parade, Middle Park SC6, Victoria, Australia. His religion was Roman Catholic. His Medical Category was A1B, A3B. Types of aircraft previously flown were Wellington, Halifax II and Halifax III. He was single.
3 September 1944 – first Op with Mitchell crew at 462 Squadron.
Maguire was Mid-Upper Gunner for 13 Ops with Crew 21, Pilot/Captain Mitchell.
2 November 1944 – last Op with Mitchell crew.
Maguire was Prisoner of War at Stalag Luft 7, PoW Number 1249.
17 May 1945 – Safe in the UK.

Albert Eric Thornton 436120 RAAF – Rear Gunner.
2 September 1944, Thornton arrived at 462 Squadron on posting from Pocklington (sic, assumed to be 102 Squadron). His rank was Flight Sergeant, attained on the 16th March 1944 (same date as Maguire). His Type of Service was DPE plus 12 months, and his Aircrew Category was Air Gunner. His next-of-kin was his father, Norman Leslie Thornton, Inverleigh, Victoria, Australia. His religion was Presbyterian. His Medical Category was A1B, A3B. Types of aircraft previously flown were DH82, Oxford, Fairey Battle, Wellington, Halifax. He was single.
3 September 1944 – first Op with Mitchell crew at 462 Squadron.
Thornton was Rear Gunner for all 14 Ops with Crew 21, Pilot/Captain Mitchell.
2 November 1944 – last Op with Mitchell crew; Killed in Action.
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Ops by Crew 21 at Driffield, Yorkshire (Information extracted from 462 Squadron RAAF Operational Record Book – Forms 541, Detail of work carried out; and Forms 540, Summary of Events).
September 1944 – 6 Ops; with the first on 3 September, the day after the crew arrived.
October 1944 – 7 Ops.
November 1944 – 1 Op, failed to return; Aircraft and crew posted as Missing.
Total Ops for this crew – 14 Ops (listed in following section).

Of the seven permanent members of the crew, four flew in each of the 14 Ops – Pilot Mitchell, Navigator McCorkindale, Flight Engineer Kellard and Rear Gunner Thornton.
Bomb Aimer Latimer flew in the first 13 Ops, but was substituted by Bomb Aimer Ronald James Smith on the last Op on 2 November 1944.
Wireless Operator Scott flew in 13 Ops, but was substituted by W/Op F/Sgt L G Moyle 423828 RAAF on 15 September 1944.
Mid-Upper Gunner Maguire flew in 13 Ops, but was substituted by Sgt E K Brown 1880387 RAF on the second-last Op on 29 October 1944.

03 September 1944 – Op 1; Mitchell & crew in Halifax III LL600 Z5-C; up at 1545 and down at 1912. Bombed primary target from 16,000 ft at 1730 hours; Photographic report – centre of photo is 2 miles E.N.E. of A/P; Landed away at Carnaby; one of 10 squadron aircraft for bombing attack on target Soesterberg; nine aircraft attacked and returned safely, and one aircraft returned early due to partly U/S controls. Attack overall successful.

09 September 1944 – Op 2; Mitchell & crew in Halifax III MZ306 Z5-K (recorded in error as NZ306 in ORB); up at 0626 and down at 1010. Jettisoned safe from 11,000 feet at 0833 hours; Photographic report – nil; Landed away at Manston; one of 12 squadron aircraft for bombing attack on target Le Havre; 10 aircraft had the mission abandoned by the Master Bomber due to cloud over target area; and 2 aircraft had returned early owing to un-serviceability.

11 September 1944 – Op 3; Mitchell & crew in Halifax III LW440 Z5-B; up at 0605 and down at 1002. Bombed primary target from 10,000 feet at 0750 hours; Photographic report – north end A/P; one of 11 squadron aircraft for bombing attack on target Cadillac 2 (Le Havre area); nine attacked target, 2 jettisoned bombs and all returned safely.

12 September 1944 – Op 4; Mitchell & crew in Halifax III LL604 Z5-D; up at 1118 and down at 1555. Bombed primary target from 20,000 feet at 1354 hours; Photographic report not included; one of 16 squadron aircraft for bombing attack on target Gelsenkirchen-Buer; all attacked target and all returned safely; attack successful. (This aircraft was lost on 9 October 1944, pilot Black.)

13 September 1944 – Op 5; Mitchell & crew in Halifax III MZ341; up at 1543 and down at 2046. Bombed alternative target from 17,500 feet at 1832 hours; Photographic report – S of Gelsenkirchen centre 4 miles S.E. of A/P; one of 15 squadron aircraft for bombing attack on Gelsenkirchen (Nordstern); 12 attacked target, and 3 attacked alternative targets. (MZ341 was coded as Z5-P when later in use at Foulsham. However in the ORBs for Driffield it has various Z5 codes recorded – these may be errors, or the code was later re-allocated.)

15 September 1944 – Op 6; Mitchell & crew in Halifax III MZ306 Z5-K; up at 2234 and down at 0419. Bombed primary target from 19,000 feet at 0118 hours; Photographic report – intense incendiary track; one of 15 squadron aircraft for bombing attack on Kiel; all attacked target and returned safely. The crew's usual Wireless Operator Scott was replaced by W/Op F/Sgt L G Moyle 423828 RAAF for this Op.

15 October 1944 – Op 7; Mitchell & crew in Halifax III NA622 Z5-T; up at 0010 and down at 0556; Bombed primary target from 19,000 feet at 0327 hours; Photographic report – A/P; one of 13 squadron aircraft for bombing attack on Duisburg; 11 aircraft successfully attacked the target, 2 returned safely and one aircraft failed to return and was reported as missing (Halifax III MZ296 Z5-L Cookson and crew, including Rear Gunner Reed, all survived and returned to the Squadron).

15 October 1944 – Op 8; Mitchell & crew in Halifax III MZ306 Z5-K; up at 1725 and down at 2147; Bombed primary target from 17,000 feet at 1949 hours; Photographic report – Cloud and incendiary tracks; one of 9 squadron aircraft for bombing attack on Wilhelmshaven; 8 aircraft attacked the target, one aircraft aborted as the rear turret was U/S, and all returned safely. (Note – Squadron ORB Form 540 Administration Part 1 Operations dated 16 October refers to squadron being "required again last evening" and the Forms 541 have all relevant pages dated 15 October, following on from the pages for the Duisburg Op in the early hours of the 15 October. This crew therefore carried out 2 Ops on the same day.)

21 October 1944 – Op 9; Mitchell & crew in Halifax III MZ401 Z5-D; up at 1615 and down at 1834; Bombs jettisoned in sea after recall and mission abandoned; one of 17 squadron aircraft detailed for bombing attack on Hanover, nine were cancelled before take-off, seven became airborne and the whole mission was cancelled just after set course. Following this recall, bombs from all aircraft were jettisoned in the sea, and all returned safely to base. (First Operational flight for this aircraft at 462 Squadron.)

23 October 1944 – Op 10; Mitchell & crew in Halifax III MZ401 Z5-D; up at 1634 and down at 2237; All bombs hung up, jettison bar and toggle tried without success at target; mission abandoned; Photographic report – Nil; one of 16 squadron aircraft for bombing attack on Essen; 11 attacked the target, 2 aircraft had bombs hung up over the target, 2 returned early – one with oil system failure and the other with No. 1 tank U/S; 15 aircraft returned safely, one failed to return and was listed as Missing (Halifax III LL599 Z5-E Nelder and crew, 6 KIA and one evader).

25 October 1944 – Op 11; Mitchell & crew in Halifax III MZ401 Z5-D; up at 1305 and down at 1741; Bombed primary target from 19,000 feet at 1542 hours; Photographic report – Cloud only; one of 16 squadron aircraft for another bombing attack on Essen; 15 aircraft attacked the target, one returned early owing to one unserviceable engine, and all 16 returned safely.

28 October 1944 – Op 12; Mitchell & crew in Halifax III MZ401 Z5-D; up at 0959 and down at 1324; Bombed primary target from 4,000 feet at 1149 hours; this aircraft received flak damage to the elevator and tail on port side; Photographic report – Centre 1800 yds S.E. of A/P; one of 13 squadron aircraft for bombing attack on Oostkapelle, Holland; all attacked the target and returned safely.

29 October 1944 – Op 13; Mitchell & crew in Halifax III MZ370 Z5-L; up at 1014 and down at 1343; Bombed primary target from 9,000 feet at 1216 hours; Photographic report – Shows A/P; one of 15 squadron aircraft for bombing attack on Westkapelle, Holland; all attacked the target and returned safely. The crew's usual Mid-Upper Gunner Maguire was replaced by Sgt E K Brown 1880387 RAF for this Op.

02 November 1944 – Op 14; Mitchell & crew in Halifax III MZ401 Z5-D; up at 1558, Failed to Return and listed as Missing; one of 15 squadron aircraft detailed for a night bombing attack on Düsseldorf. Thirteen aircraft attacked the target and returned safely but two aircraft failed to return (Mitchell and crew, and also Halifax III LL610 Z5-U Jubb and crew. Jubb was an evader and the other 6 of his crew became PoWs.) The bombing was very successful and concentrated. Enemy night fighters were reported by several crews and combats were seen to take place on the first leg out of the target. The crew's usual Bomb Aimer Latimer was replaced by Ronald James Smith for this Op.
Pilot Mitchell and R/AG Thornton were both Killed in Action, and the remainder of the crew were PoWs and/or Evader.
(Further details on this Op will be included in a later section – Aircraft Loss.)
In the Squadron ORB for the Op to Düsseldorf on the 2 November 1944, Halifax III MZ401 Z5-D each member of this crew was recorded as:-

Flight Sergeant R R Mitchell, Captain, 418452;
Flying Officer R J Smith, Bomb Aimer, 12060;
Sergeant W McCorkindale, Navigator, 1688425 (sic, error for 1568425);
Warrant Officer R W Scott, Wireless Operator, 418184;
Flight Sergeant A E Thornton, Rear Air Gunner, 436120;
Flight Sergeant T L Maguire, Mid-Upper Air Gunner, 430548;
Sergeant F Kellard, Flight Engineer, 2205580 (sic, error for A Kellard).

From the ORBs – after its arrival, Halifax III MZ401 Z5-D had only been flown on 5 Ops, and all of those by Mitchell and crew.
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Nav McCorkindale's Log Book

Form 1767
Royal Air Force
Navigator's, Air Bombers and
Air Gunner's Flying Log Book
Name: McCorkindale W. 1568425

The book commences with his first flight on 15 October 1943, with his Observers Navigation Course, at 7 Air Observers School (7 AOS), but the location was not recorded.
He had not ever trained in Canada, nor in Wales, but he had mentioned time in Ireland. It has now been assumed that he trained at 7 AOS, RAF Bishops Court, County Down, Northern Ireland. (From ControlTowersUK website, 7 AOS was renamed 7(O)AFU (Observers Advanced Flying Unit) in Feb 1944).

Log Book continues with his training flights at 20 Operational Training Unit (20 OTU), RAF Milltown, Morayshire; followed by 1652 Heavy Conversion Unit (1652 HCU), Marston Moor, Yorkshire. He was then posted to Operational duties at 102 (Ceylon) Squadron, Pocklington, Yorkshire, and finally posted to 462 Squadron, Driffield, Yorkshire.

Day flights were recorded in black or blue or green ink.
Night flights were recorded in RED

 

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR Log Book (462 Squadron)

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR Log Book

 

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR Log Book Qualification (462 Squadron)

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR Log Book – inside front cover showing Instructions for use on the left and Certificate of Qualification on the right. His home address (top left) was 17 Stonefield Crescent, High Blantyre, Glasgow. He qualified as Navigator with effect from 28 January 1944, signed by W/Cdr on 27 January 1944, at 7 Air Observers School (7 AOS); subsequent promotion to Sergeant.

 

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR Log Book Oct/Nov 1943 (462 Squadron)

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR Log Book Oct/Nov 1943. Training in Anson aircraft; various pilots; duty as 1st or 2nd Nav; from 15 to 24 October, and 04 to 26 November. training included air experience, map reading, drift taking, bearings with Astro compass; air plot; log keeping, night experience (in red).
(Also – w/v by Tr & G/S – ? meaning)

 

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR Log Book Dec 1943 (462 Squadron)

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR Log Book Dec 1943. Training in Anson aircraft; various pilots; duty as 1st or 2nd Nav; from 03 to 30 December. Training included air plot, log keeping, map reading at night, drift taking, Astro compass bearings, Reconnaissance. Day and night training. (also Exercise B.B.A. – ? meaning ?)

 

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR Log Book Jan 1944 (462 Squadron)

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR Log Book Jan 1944. Training in Anson aircraft; various pilots; duty as 1st or 2nd Nav; from 02 to 27 January 1944. Training included drifts, bearings, map reading, air plot, log keeping, map reading at night. Day and night training.

 

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR Log Book Jan 1944 (462 Squadron)

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR Log Book Jan 1944. Assessment and results for Navigation Training in Observers Navigation Course., from 10 October 1943 to 2 January 1944; 75h 27m day flying; 24h 59m night flying; Air Exercise 84.2%, Ground Subjects 85.8%; Assessment "Above Average"; Remarks "Has shown very good results". Certified, signed by F/O, S/Ldr and W/COMDR. Location recorded as 7 AOS on Qualification page of log book, with the signature of the same Wing/Co (C. Boxer ?).

 

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR Log Book Mar/Apr 1944 (462 Squadron)

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR Log Book Mar/Apr 1944. Training in Wellington aircraft at 20 OTU, RAF Milltown. Duty as 2nd Nav for F/O Plant on 10 & 14 April; Nav for F/Sgt Mitchell from 11 MArch to 13 April 1944, indicating the crew had formed by the 11 March. (Photos in earlier section). Training included cross (X) country, bombing, Fighter affiliation, dual bombing,
A/F – air firing? S/B – ? I/R – ? Stick – ?
DNCO – Duty Not Carried Out, or Did Not complete Operation.

 

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR Log Book Apr 1944 (462 Squadron)

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR Log Book Apr 1944. Completion of Training at 20 OTU, with certification and signatures on 14 April 1944, by Flight Commander and Chief Ground Instructor.

 

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR Log Book May/Jun/Jul 1944 (462 Squadron)

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR Log Book May/Jun/Jul 1944, Training in Halifax II aircraft at 1652 Heavy Conversion Unit, Marston Moor, with first flight of 24 May, and last on 06 July. Duty as Navigator for four Pilots (3 F/Lt and one F/O, assumed to experienced pilots acting as Instructors) as well as with F/Sgt Mitchell. Training included day circuits and landings, familiarisation flights, A/F and Bombing, cross country, Fighter Affiliation, night circuits. Certified and signed by Officer Commanding B Flight on 08 July 1944.

   

 

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR Log Book Jul/Aug 1944 (462 Squadron)

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR Log Book Jul/Aug 1944. Crew posted to 102 (Ceylon) Squadron, Pocklington, Yorkshire, and allocated to "B" Flight. Operational training flights on 12 and 14 July in Halifax III aircraft, for conversion to different model aircraft, circuits and landings, and cross country. First Op on night of 28 July to Forêt de Nieppe (Flying Bomb site) and day Op on 30 July to Villiers Bocages. August lists four more day Ops, and 2 night Ops. On 03 August, returning from a day Op to Forêt de Nieppe, they crashed on landing, having overshot the runway (102 Squadron website records the aircraft as Halifax LW134 DY-L). On 07 August they were diverted to land at Carnaby, with undercarriage trouble, returning to Base the following day. On 12 August they again landed away at Carnaby, after returning from target Brunswick on three engines, returning to Base next day. Also listed are air test circuits, and Fighter Affiliation training. On 05 August, McCorkindale was Nav for F/Lt Rabbitt, who also signed for the Officer Commanding "B" Flight for July entries.

 

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR Log Book Aug 1944 (462 Squadron)

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR Log Book Aug 1944. Continuation of Ops during August 1944, "B" flight, 102 (Ceylon) Squadron. Two days Ops and one night Op, all three with Pilot F/Sgt Mitchell, also a local non-operational flight to/from Woodbridge. During the night Op to Sterkrade to bomb oil refineries, the aircraft was attacked by a Junkers JU88, which was believed to be damaged by the crew's MU/AG, Terry Maguire. The Mitchell crew's last Op at 102 Squadron was on 25 August 1944, the crew having flown 10 Ops together, 6 by day and 4 by night. McCorkindale had flown one extra, making his total 11 Ops. The crew was then posted on to 462 Squadron.

 

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR Log Book Sep 1944 (462 Squadron)

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR Log Book Sep 1944, at 462 Squadron, Driffield, Yorkshire. The Crew arrived on 02 September, and were allocated to "A" Flight. They carried out their first Op on 03 September, with ORB listed this crew as 'landing away' at Carnaby. It appears that the details of the seven aircraft which landed away, may have become muddled. Similarly, on 09 September, Squadron ORB records this crew and aircraft as landing away at Manston, however the log book has this as Woodbridge, returning from there to Driffield the next day. On 11 September they bombed the Garrison at Le Havre, with notation by the Nav that "Garrison surrendered 12/9/44". On 13 September the aircraft as damaged by Flak, and F/Eng Kellard's leg was badly bruised by Flak (page 5, Phoenix Book 2). On 15 Sep was their last Op for the month, by night to Kiel. The gap between 16 and 27 Sep probably indicates a period of Leave, with two Fighter Affiliation exercises on the 27 and 278 September. The log book was signed by F/Lt Peter Hamilton FINLEY for the Officer Commanding "A" Flight.

 

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR Log Book Oct 1944 (462 Squadron)

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR Log Book Oct 1944, at 462 Squadron, Driffield, Yorkshire. The Crew carried out five night Ops and three day Ops during the month, with one night Op a recall. Note that they carried out 2 Ops on 15 Oct – one in the early morning and the second in the evening. During the evening fight to Wilhelmshaven they were attacked by an FW190 night fighter. On 21 Oct, they were re-called so Op was not completed (DNCO), with ORB recording that the bomb load was jettisoned at sea. This would not be counted in their Op Tally. On 23 Oct, they landed with all of the fuselage bomb load, with an electrical failure and icing. ORB notes that all bombs hung up, with jettison bar and toggle tried without success over the target. Non-operational Fighter Affiliation was carried out on 26 Oct. On 28 Oct, they bombed from 4000ft and sustained flak damage to elevator and tail on port side. Month's Ops certified and signed by S/Ldr James Thomas Brophy, Officer Commanding "A" Flight.

 

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR Log Book Nov 1944 (462 Squadron)

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR Log Book Nov 1944, at 462 Squadron, Driffield, Yorkshire.
Thursday 02 November 1944, take-off at 1600 (1558 in ORB), Halifax MZ401 D, Pilot F/Sgt Mitchell, target Düsseldorf,
Missing, Baled out at 1937hrs. (3h 37m of flying time recorded.) Signed by S/Ldr James Thomas Brophy, Officer Commanding "A" Flight.
Post-war notes –
Target Düsseldorf duly bombed.
Attacked and set on fire by night fighter on the way home.
Baled out near Cologne and Allied lines at 1937 hrs.
Pilot Bob Mitchell killed.
Rear Gunner Bert Thornton killed (both now buried at Hotton in Belgium).
Bunny Smith Bomb Aimer – PoW escaped and got home.
Terry Maguire Mid Upper Gunner – PoW.
Alf Kellard Flight Engineer – PoW.
Ron Scott Wireless Op – evaded and reached Allied lines.
Self – PoW.

Please refer also to later section "Aircraft Loss".
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Nav McCorkindale's PoW Memorabilia

Immediately after capture, William McCorkindale was taken to a cell at the Cologne Airport jail. He was later a Prisoner of War at three camps – Stalag Luft 7 (VII), Bankau, Poland; Stalag Luft III Sagan (site of the "Great Escape"), Germany; and Stalag IIIA Luckenwalde near Berlin, Germany.

On 19 Jan 1945, Stalag Luft 7 Bankau closed, and the PoWs went on a forced march to Stalag Luft III at Sagan. On reaching Sagan, they were again relocated, this time to Stalag IIIA at Luckenwalde.

As recorded in his Memoir, towards the end of his time as PoW, he escaped from the camp, but had the presence-of-mind to steal his prisoner identity papers from the camp office. It is supposed that this would have been sometime on or after 21 April when the German Guards abandoned Stalag IIIA, with the prospect of the camp soon being under the control of the advancing Russians, who arrived on 22 April. According to Clutton-Brock, page 138, the PoWs were told to "stand fast" but many airmen "slipped away". McCorkindale was most likely one of them, subsequently meeting up with the rapidly advancing Americans.

Readers are also referred to "Footprints on the Sands of Time" by Oliver Clutton-Brock, 2003 ( Acknowledgements ) which details the above-mentioned camps (and others), as well as the history of each camp, movements to/from them, forced marches, liberation and repatriation.
Stalag Luft VII – chapter 11; Luft III – Chapter 6; Luft IIIA – Chapter 12.
Bill McCorkindale's notes correspond with information in "Footprints".

 

 

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR, Prisoner of War, German photo soon after capture 03 Nov 1944

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR, Prisoner of War, German photo taken soon after capture 03 Nov 1944, after interrogation. Location not recorded, but probably at the Cologne Airport Jail.

 

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR, Prisoner of War, German photo soon after capture 03 Nov 1944

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR, Prisoner of War, German photo taken soon after capture 03 Nov 1944, after interrogation. Location not recorded, but probably at the Cologne Airport Jail.

 

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR, Missing Airman announcement in Hamilton Advertiser, early November 1944 (462 Squadron).

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR, announcement in Hamilton Advertiser, early November 1944. His photo appears to be that of December 1942, at the rank of AC (as shown in previous section).
"Missing Airman – Word has been received by Mrs Jean McCorkindale, 17 Stonefield Crescent, High Blantyre, that her elder son, Navigator Sergeant Wm. McCorkindale, R.A.F., is missing from air operations over Germany. Sergt. McCorkindale is 21 years of age. He had actually sent word to his widowed mother a few days ago that he expected to be home on Friday, November 3, for a short leave. Mrs McCorkindale's only daughter, L.A.C.W. Jessie McCorkindale, is serving with the W.A.A.F. Sergt. McCorkindale was a popular member of Blantyre Acas. He is a former pupil of St. John's Grammar School and Hamilton Academy. (Owing to an inadvertence, which we regret, the wrong photograph was published with this paragraph in last week's issue)."

 

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR, metal PoW Identification Tag 1154, Stalag Luft 7; Nov 1944 - Jan 1945 (462 Squadron).

Sgt William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR, metal PoW Identification Tag 1154, Stalag Luft 7, Bankau; Nov/Dec 1944 – Jan 1945.

1154 Kr. Gef. Lager d. Lw.Nr.7

PoW Number 1154
Kr. Gef. – Kriegs Gefangener – Prisoner of War
Lager – Camp
d. Lw.Nr.7 – der Luftwaffe Number 7

The Luftwaffe camps were "Stammlager der Luftwaffe" or "Stalag Luft".
They were not under the control of the Wehrmacht (German Army).

Lw – abbreviation for Luftwaffe
Luftwaffe = Air Force
Stalag short for Stammlager; stamm = basic or lower;
so a camp for Airmen of "other ranks"
Officers were usually in an Oflag (i.e. Offizierenlager).

 

 

 

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR, Photo for PoW Identification Card, PoW No 1154, Stalag Luft 7; Nov 1944 - Jan 1945 (462 Squadron).

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR. Photo for PoW Identification Card, PoW No 1154, Stalag Luft 7; Nov/Dec 1944 – Jan 1945.

On the Card at right –
Surname, first given name, rank (Sgt),
PoW identification (1154 Kgf.Lag.d.Lw.7) see ID Tag above right
Service Number (RAFVR) 1568425, Nationality English
Tr.48 – ? ; Barrack 42, Room 9

 

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR, PoW Identification Card 1154, Stalag Luft 7; Nov 1944 - Jan 1945 (462 Squadron).

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR. PoW Identification Card 1154, Stalag Luft 7; Nov/Dec 1944 – Jan 1945.
Transcription details at left.

 

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR, New Testament Bible received as PoW at Stalag Luft 7 (462 Squadron).

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR. Bill's copy of The New Testament Bible given to PoWs at Stalag Luft 7.

 

 

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR, New Testament Bible recording forced march as PoW from Stalag Luft 7 (462 Squadron).

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR. Inside the front cover of his PoW New Testament Bible, Bill recorded the dates, stopping places, and distances travelled during their forced march from Stalag Luft 7 to Stalag Luft III, during January 1945, the coldest of winters.

 

 

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR, New Testament Bible recording forced march as PoW from Stalag Luft 7 (462 Squadron).

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR. Close-up of New Testament Bible recording dates, stopping places, and distances travelled during their forced march, transcription on the right.

 

Transcription by Bill McCorkindale's family – dates, stopping places and distances, during the forced march of Air Force PoWs from Stalag Luft 7, Bankau, to Stalag III, Sagan, during January 1945. The notes were probably written with a blunt pencil, with original spelling (corrections in brackets).
The PoWs left Bankau on 19 January. At gunpoint, starved, diseased and emaciated, Bill collapsed at one point (28 Jan?) and never knew who carried him the rest of the way to the hospital. Russian prisoners who collapsed were shot.

19 Jan 1945 – Bankau to Winterfeld – 28km
20 Jan 1945 – Winterfeld to Karlsruhe – 12km
21 Jan 1945 – Karlsruhe to near Brieg (now Brzeg) – 41km
22 Jan 1945 – Brieg to Jenkwitz – 17km
23 Jan 1945 – Jenkwitz to Wansen (sic Wanzen) – 24km
24 Jan 1945 – Wansen – 0km
25 Jan 1945 – Wansen to Hiedersdorf (sic Kiedersdorf) – 30km
26 Jan 1945 – Hiedersdorf – 0km
27 Jan 1945 – Hiedersdorf to Pfaffendorf (sic Pfaffendorff) – 20km
28 Jan 1945 – Pfaffendorf to to hospital at Schweidnitz – 10km
29 Jan 1945 – Schweidnitz (Beerkellar) – 0km
30 Jan 1945 – Schweidnitz to Sagan (by train ?) – 0km
31 Jan 1945 – Sagan – 0km
01 Feb 1945 – Sagan – 0km
02 Feb 1945 – Sagan – 0km
Total 182 km
According to Clutton-Brock, on 2 Feb a batch of PoWs then departed from Stalag Luft III Sagan on foot, to be relocated to Stalag Luft IIIA Luckenwalde. On 03 Feb they were then transported by train in "cattle trucks" arriving at Luckenwalde station on 04 Feb 1945. From there they walked to Stalag Luft IIIA.

 

 

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR, Google map of forced march as PoW from Stalag Luft 7, Bankau (462 Squadron).

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR. Google map of Bill's forced march with PoWs across Poland from Stalag Luft 7, Bankau, to Schweidnitz, near where he collapsed, and was carried to hospital at Schweidnitz (map prepared by the McCorkindale Family).
Bankau is now Bakow. Schweidnitz is now Swidnica.

 

 

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR, Google map of forced march as PoW from Stalag Luft 7, Bankau to Stalag Luft 3, Sagan (462 Squadron).

William McCorkindale 1568425 RAFVR. Google map of forced march as PoW from Stalag Luft 7, Bankau via Schweidnitz to Stalag III, Sagan. It is thought that Bill was transferred from hospital at Schweidnitz, to Sagan by train (map prepared by the McCorkindale Family).
Sagan is now Zagan. Return to top of page

 

 

 

William McCorkindale's Story – letters and Memoir – transcribed and supplied by the McCorkindale Family. Some of the information is repeated, but all documents have been left as originally written by Bill.

Letter 1 – late January 1995, to Bill Johnson in County Durham, in reply to BJ's request (of 20 January) for details of 462 Squadron. Bill McC also mentions a visit to Hotton War Cemetery planned for March 1995.

Letter 2 – dated 06 March 1995, to Bill Johnson with further information, mentioning Ops at 102 Squadron.

Letter 3 – letter to A G (Tony) Batten, author of "Phoenix 2 The Reincarnation" self-published by Tony in 1999 (Acknowledgements); letter was an undated draft copy, but must have been sometime in 1998, as Bill McC refers to Hotton Cemetery writing that he "paid it a visit three years ago and took pictures of the graves" (photos on 24 and 25 March 1995, in a previous section). Most of this information was included in "Phoenix Book 2", section named "Stories of survival" towards the end of the book (un-paginated, as published in August 2005 reprint).

Handwritten notes by Bill, apparently the start of writing his memories, but difficult to read, and incomplete.

Memoir Part 1 – A Week in the Life of a Bomber Command Halifax Navigator.

Memoir Part 2 – The Story of a Bomber Command Halifax Navigator during World War II ('sanitised' version for school children, otherwise very similar to the letter to Tony Batten, and as published in Phoenix Book 2 ).

Letter 1 – late January 1995, to Bill Johnson in County Durham

Dear Bill ...... I was most intrigued to receive your letter of 20 January and I am delighted to, if I can, help you in furthering your research. We Bomber Command veterans are now of advanced years (I shall be 72 in March and may even be one of the younger ones) and I think it is important that the true story of many aspects of our experiences be recorded for posterity while we are still around and can remember reasonably well. I have therefore completed your Ops sheet with all our sorties with 462 Squadron.

As a crew we first joined 102 Ceylon Squadron at Pocklington (Jim Latimer was our Air Bomber then, having replaced an Australian who dropped out at Conversion Unit at Marston Moor). We were one of the first “Aussie” crews (4 Aussies and 3 RAF) to arrive at Driffield at the end of August 1944 when 462 was being reformed there after service in the Middle East. By that time with 102 we had completed 10 ops (I had done 11 having had one spare bod trip with another crew).

After the war with career and then family commitments I had very little contact with my surviving crew members. Alf Kellard, Flight Engineer, and former bus driver from Warrington Lanes corresponded for a short time.

Ron Scott, Wireless Operator, was a member of the Australian contingent in the Victory Parade in London and visited me in Glasgow. Terry McGuire kept a correspondence going until the early 1980s when it came to an abrupt stop – why, I have not been able to discover, though I fear the worst. He and his wife came on holiday at least twice to the UK and they spent part of this in our home. Terry and I paid a nostalgic visit to Driffield to see the old Squadron home. Until now I had heard nothing of Jim Latimer, so I was most interested in the Foulsham operations on your list. It is perhaps a quirk of fate but the first one shows Jim with Skipper Colin Jackson. We knew Col Jackson quite well and Flight Officer “Bunny” Smith, who took Jim’s place on 2nd November 1944, was none other than Col’s bomb aimer, who I think had near enough completed his tour.

Sorry I can’t help with Flight Engineer Tom Kanes whom I have never come across and there is not a single Kanes in the Glasgow telephone directory!
(Website note: F/Eng T. Kane, 462 Squadron, Foulsham, June to September 1945 in non-operational crew, Pilot Ron Hinds.)

Terry McGuire was a regular attender of the 462-466 Squadron reunions in Sydney and kept me up to date with the careers etc of Aussie members of the squadron. More recently I have attended 4 Group and 102 Squadron reunions and am a member of the 462-466 Squadrons Association. In September 1993, I attended the unveiling of the Squadron’s memorial in Driffield Remembrance Garden and there met a number of contemporaries of the Squadron from way back in 1944. I dare say you know all about the Squadrons’ Association and its UK Newsletter produced by Stan Parker of Benfleet, Essex and one time Flight Engineer on 466. If not, I can possibly help here in making some contact.

At Driffield in 1993 I also met Norman Ling, the editor of Bomber Command Association Newsletter. Norman was very helpful in giving me information about the Public Records Office at Kew and I hope to visit it one of these days. Perhaps you know all about these facilities?

In March I shall be visiting one of my sons who lives in Guildford, Surrey and together we intend to visit the War Graves Commission Cemetery in Hotton, Belgium where Bob Mitchell and Bert Thornton are buried.
Yours sincerely .....
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Letter 2 – dated 06 March 1995, to Bill Johnson

Dear Bill ...... I have completed your sheet with my 102 Squadron Ops – 11 in all. Some of the aircraft and take-off times are not properly described but I hope they will serve your purpose.

I confirm that we completed conversions onto Halifax IIs at 1652 HCU Marston Moor May 24th to July 6th 1944.

I also confirm that Jim Latimer was a Canadian with a fine head of long blond hair as described in a letter I have just received from Arthur Newstead. I also found it amusing that I also had helped to push the ancient Ford 8 that, I am almost certain, belonged to Terry McGuire and Ron Scott when they were posted missing on 2nd November 1944.

In connection with Colin Jackson it was Jim Brophy who signed my log book on 2nd November 1944 as a Flight Commander for the month of October ops and also for the “Missing” entry for 2nd November.
Yours sincerely .....
(Website note: this crew's Jim Latimer was Scottish born, raised in Canada, enlisted in Scotland, trained in Canada, now living in England. F/Eng A Newstead, Anderson Crew 45)
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Letter 3 – Information to Tony Batten for inclusion in "Phoenix Book 2" – sometime 1998

Dear Tony ....... Many thanks for your letter of 13th May. It arrived during a short holiday which my wife, Jean, and I spent in northern Scotland in places like the Isle of Skye and the Moray Firth. I had a nostalgic visit to Lossiemouth where 54 years ago we did our training as a crew in Wellingtons at 20 O.T.U.

In answer to your questions, I shall now try to describe what happened on our last operation on 2nd November 1944. We were due to go on seven days’ leave next day and had spent part of the afternoon trying in vain to convince the Squadron Accounts Officer to give us our pay (partly in advance), when over the tannoy came the message, “All 462 crews report to the briefing room”. The target was Düsseldorf and apart from the not unusual inaccurate met forecast (which required a material change in the flight plan), the trip to the target was relatively uneventful. We dropped our bombs and were soon heading for home. Suddenly, Bert Thornton (Rear Gunner) rapped out on the intercom the evasive action command, “Corkscrew starboard! Go!” Seconds later I heard shells thudding into our Halifax, the starboard wing with fuel tanks was on fire and Bob (Skipper) gave the order to abandon aircraft. I quickly tipped up my seat and desk and then removed the escape hatch cover in the floor, handing it to Ron Scott (wireless operator). I clipped on my ‘chute, forgot I had left my Astro watch on the tipped-up desk and removed my helmet – so goodbye to the intercom! I then lowered myself through the hatch with legs dangling in the slipstream and that was an interesting few seconds. The thought going through my mind was strongly not one of fear about making my first parachute jump, but rather that if we could only stay airborne for another few minutes or so we would be over the Allied lines. Scotty’s boot convinced me that I had to go! As I floated down I discovered I was holding the metal handle of the ripcord, completely unaware of having pulled it – an almost normal experience I was later to discover! In retrospect, I reckoned I baled ut at about 10,000 feet and I think I saw the last minutes of our blazing aircraft as it disappeared in the distance. Eventually I landed in a tree some 15 feet or so above the ground, released my harness and climbed down. It was a crisp moonlit night but slightly foggy evening and once I had gathered my scattered wits I opened my escape kit which I carried in my battle dress blouse and used the little compass to walk in a south westerly direction towards Düren and Aachen where I knew the US Forces had made a dent in the Germany army lines.

At first, I walked through fields and then decided that it probably looked less conspicuous if I were to use a nearby road. This I did, but after a while found myself approaching a railway level crossing where in the moonlight I could just discern two figures, one of whom turned out to be the signalman and the other a German sentry on guard duty. It was too late to avoid passing within a few yards of them and since I was wearing flying boots and battle dress I expected to be challenged. I heard some kind of greeting to which I replied with a grunt and kept on walking, expecting any second to hear the crack of rifle fire – but nothing happened and I soon was out of earshot and once more alone with my thoughts.

Perhaps an hour or so later I was convinced that I was somewhere in the vicinity of the German lines. I could hear distant gunfire and suddenly I was aware of marching footsteps. I left the road and entered what I thought was a wood when suddenly I found myself at the wrong end of a German rifle glinting in the moonlight and being challenged by a sentry. I couldn’t understand what he was saying but I knew what he meant. I had in fact dodged off the road into an anti-aircraft battery. In the morning, I was to see that the ‘trees’ were, in fact, guns, elaborately camouflaged and the gunners’ quarters were mainly underground. Thus began my life as a POW or Kriegsgefangener.

Next day, I was escorted by a very young member of the Wehrmacht into Cologne across the Hohenzollern Bridge over the Rhine and, I think, I was taken to Cologne Airport jail, where I was lodged in a cell an had my first real interrogation. A couple of nights later I was joined in my cell there by Alf Kellard (our Flight Engineer) and Bunny Smith (Bomb Aimer) who had flown with us as a spare bod in place of Jim Latimer who was unfit to fly that night.

Later, Alf told me he was sure Bob Mitchell only had the use of one arm as he gave him his ‘chute, the other possibly damaged by flak or cannon fire. The German interrogators in due course were to confirm to me that he had been killed when the plane crashed. Bert Thornton (our Rear Gunner) they told me was missing, but they gave me his battle dress tunic which they had found in the wreckage. It was intact apart from a small three cornered tear on one sleeve. He normally took it off before donning his heated suit and kept it in the tail. My inference is that he probably rotated the turret and bailed out from it. After that, what happened is still a mystery to me. Both Bob and Bert are now buried in the Commonwealth Graves Commission Cemetery on the hill overlooking the small town of Hotton near Liege in Belgium. I paid it a visit three years ago and took pictures of their graves and made notes of other headstones which might be of interest.

[ Family note – Bill believed beyond doubt that Bob sacrificed himself for the rest of the crew – Bob’s arm was just about blown off and to get the others out he needed to keep the plane stable. In doing this, he will not have had sufficient time to bale out himself. This IS something that his family would be so proud to hear: the ultimate brave sacrifice for his mates. ]

Two survivors from our crew whom I have not yet mentioned were Terry McGuire, Mid Upper Gunner, and Ron Scott, Wireless Operator. Terry landed safely and was on the loose for about nine days before being picked up in no man’s land by German front line troops as he hoped to reach the Allied lines. He ended up with Alf and me in Stalag Luft 7. Scotty, on the other hand, successfully evaded and was “captured” in the German front line by American troops when they overran the foxhole he was occupying. He was repatriated and subsequently chosen as a member of the Australian contingent which came in the RAN cruiser to take part in the Victory parade in London (in 1946?). He visited me then and I heard an amazing account of his experience when he “joined” the German army and eventually became the guest of Major General Pete Quesada in the headquarters of one of the US Tactical Air Forces. His is a story worth recording if he is still in the Land of the Living. I lost touch with him many years ago and reckon he would now be 80 years old. Bunny, being commissioned, probably landed in Stalag Luft 3.

For some time now, members of my family have suggested that I write something for posterity of my wartime career in the RAF. I have therefore written the foregoing as though it could be incorporated as a chapter of the eventual story.

I have tried to answer the questions in your letter. Please use or reject it as you will.

I am very interested in your list of contributors as I see quite a number of names I know.

“Derry” Derrington I met at the unveiling of the memorial to 462 & 466 in Driffield in 1993.
(Website note: Derrington , Nav for Evans Crew 8)

Colin Jackson I knew on the squadron at Driffield. Bunny Smith was his Bomb Aimer who was shot down with us on 2nd November 1944. Jubby, as I remember him, was one of two Australian pilots on 462 (the other was Bob Mitchell). Memory is getting poorer after 54 years but I think his navigator was Jimmy Burden, RAF like myself.
(Website note: Jubby, Pilot Jubb (evader) of Crew 4, crew also lost on 02 Nov 1944; Burden, Navigator, Crew 4, PoW)

Ted McGindle was a great friend of Bob Mitchell. Although English, he was brought up in Australia and trained with Bob, and as far as I can gather was virtually adopted by the Mitchell family.

Both of our crews arrived together at Driffield when 462 was reformed there and no doubt Ted will have told you for your book how he received an immediate award of the DFC when he flew home a crippled Halifax with a wounded navigator but minus two gunners who bailed out when ordered to abandon aircraft over the Ruhr. They were among the first prisoners who greeted us on our arrival in Stalag Luft 7 and we broke the news to them that the rest of their crew had made it home successfully!! Ted will not know this but he contributed to the raising of my spirits during my early days as a Kriegsgefangener. During the frequent interrogations which German Intelligence inflicted on me in my first couple of weeks in captivity, I was quite amazed and not a little depressed by their knowledge of 462 Squadron and its crews, including ours. They knew by name the squadron commanding officer, Wing Commander D.E.S. Shannon, Flight Commander Jim Brophy. Even more particularly, they knew that our usual Bomb Aimer, Jim Latimer, was not with us in the Düsseldorf raid and that Col Jackson's Bomb Aimer had taken his place. Somehow, they seemed to have detailed knowledge of battle orders which contained some relatively unknowns like me. They then depressed me with details of some of the crews who had been killed on recent ops like “Derby” Munro of 466 Squadron who was drowned when he crashed in the sea off North Germany. My morale received a tremendous boost however when an interrogator told me that Ted McGindle and his crew had been killed over the Ruhr but that they had managed to save his two gunners. I knew something they did not – that Ted and his crew minus the gunners were safe at home in Driffield!

I did not know Ted Priest in the Squadron, probably because we were too busy on ops, but I had the pleasure of meeting the delightful Ted at the memorial Stone unveiling ceremony too.
(Website note: Priest, Rear Gunner for Hourigan crew 3)

If I can be of any further assistance in your project, Tony, please let me know.

Best wishes for a good production, which I look forward to reading in due course. I would be particularly interested, too, on learning of any other experiences with Schräge Musik. It is a matter of a little regret to me that as a crew we knew nothing about it although the Germans had operated it for about a year before we met our fate.
Yours sincerely .....
(Website note: Schräge Musik, a pair of upward firing cannon fitted to some Luftwaffe Fighter aircraft, which, after flying close underneath a Bomber, enabled its destruction from below.)
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Handwritten notes by Bill McCorkindale – with comments inside [ ] from his family [ "This final extract was written by Bill, on several sheets of lined paper and partly in note form. Undated, and no record of whom they were written for, but it was possibly the start of writing his memories down as a result of our nagging him! His hand writing (which can normally be read easily) is terrible in this, as if he was rushing to get it all down." ]

I had just left school at age 16 and had started work as a junior clerk in a life assurance office for only two weeks when war broke out on 3rd September 1939.

My first recollection of wartime was on that fateful Sunday morning listening to Mr Chamberlain on the wireless at 11 O’clock as he informed that a state of war existed with Germany. Shortly afterwards I made my way with my widowed mother to High Blantyre Church. Rather tearful company of several ladies of my mother’s generation, who remembered only too well the ravages of World War 1 which had finished just about twenty years before. My own mother had lost a brother, killed at the Battle of the Somme while serving with the Seaforth Highlanders, Edinburgh Castle. Roll of Honour. [ Family note – There is some reference to Dunkirk inserted here but cannot make it out other than “I am at a loss to understand…” ]

 There’s one consolation, “You’re too young son, you won’t have to go.” ...... [ illegible ] for three years having volunteered for aircrew when I got notice that I could get called up for the forces. It was some three years later I reported to No 1 ACRC which was at Lord’s Cricket Ground.

Billeted in one of those delightful flats in St john’s Woods – luxuries like carpets had been removed – but the floor boards were kept beautifully clean – I know because whenever we were at a loose end we aircrew cadets were sent back to our rooms to scrub the floors and polish the bath, and of course spit and polish our boots. Time of great activity on the hair-cutting front. Three haircuts in six days – great inconvenience on Saturday, long and lank, then Tuesday and Friday. I suspect the floorboards were looking bleached, the baths gleaming and our boots shining bright – nothing else to do.

Early aircrew training for me and I think for most people was really an enjoyable and happy time. We were well fed, lived in some of the best hotels in the land – I slept 5 months for example in the Grand Hotel in Scarborough. Generally I think aircrew cadets might be considered a pampered lot not only did we have blankets but also had beds and white linen sheets – not like the army who slept on the floor when they were lucky enough to be in a hotel. It was a time of making many friends and also a time for becoming very fit bodily and mentally for what lay ahead.

Early training and ground training done in large groups 40-50. Flying training itself was a much more individual thing and eventually if you became a member of a team it was a full one, in my case a crew of 7 as Navigator in a Halifax Bomber in an Australian Squadron.

1000 BOMBERS

If I might now return to Saturday 21st October 1944. We had been briefed to carry out a bombing raid on Hanover, the weather was atrocious and we were really hoping that the operation would be scrubbed. [ Family note – The following reference is to a football match Bill played in, having bragged about the superiority of Scottish footballers ] England 6 Scotland 2. Wouldn’t have been so bad if I hadn’t stuck my neck out. Dangerous flying conditions, miserable football result and difficult operation in prospect. Great relief when we were recalled to base after flying out over the North Sea for about half an hour. But first we had to get rid of our bombs before we could land.

A bomber crew is a very close knit little community with a great spirit of comradeship and companionship – after all the life of each member depended on the skill and ability of each of the others. During my operational experience I twice had to fly as a navigator with crews where I was a newcomer to the seven. This is a traumatic experience – you have the feeling that your companions are not completely satisfied that your ability matches up to the man you have replaced and I must confess that my main worry was that. On the first occasion I stood in for the wounded navigator of our flight commander. It was my fourth trip while they were a very experienced crew. Our brief was to bomb German flying bomb sites in the Pas de Calais area at the Forêt de Nieppe. As we made our way to France my navigation told me that the Met Office’s forecast was wrong yet again and we were running late on the way to the target. I called up the pilot and asked him to increase his airspeed by 10 miles per hour, which he did without demur. Some ten minutes later I was asking him to step it up again. This time he asked for confirmation of our ......
[ Family note – Bill stopped at this point. I remember him telling me that he once had made some adjustments en route to counteract the bad weather problems and his plane thus arrived at the target spot on time, but alone and some minutes ahead of the rest of the bombers. This could well be that occasion! Bill used to recalculate everything at least every 6 minutes, often sooner, which was vastly more than he actually was expected to. He did this to keep himself busy and thus not worry excessively about the situation he was in. ]
(Website note: Log Book 05 August 1944, Op 4, 102 Squadron, McCorkindale was Nav for F/Lt Rabbitt, target Forêt de Nieppe.)
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Memoir Part 1 – A Week in the Life of a Bomber Command Halifax Navigator by W. McCorkindale

It was the week beginning Sunday 29th October 1944, and the crew were looking
forward to a week’s leave on Friday 3rd November.

Sunday 29th October
A daylight raid was safely completed on German gun emplacements on West Kapelle,
an island in the Scheldt Estuary in Holland. It was in contrast to the day before, when
during a similar raid on West Kapelle our tail plane elevator was badly damaged by
flak, but fortunately the rudder controls remained intact until we touched down at
base, when the controls snapped but we managed to taxi to our dispersal!

Tuesday 31st October
We flew a night raid on Cologne with our target being transport and communications
behind the German Western Front. For me, this was a “spare bod” trip with another
crew as Flight Sergeant Sid Carthy’s navigator was unfit to fly. The worry about
this kind of operation is that your own crew are not flying and you feel somewhat
lonely without your familiar team back up. At pre flight briefing we were warned that
in daylight the Americans had seen German jet aircraft (Messerschmitt Me-262s) but
the Germans had not attacked them. The effect on us was that every member of the
crew was looking for German jets except me, curtained off in my little nose
compartment. After about 5 hours it was a great relief to touch down safely at
Driffield having delivered our bomb load on Cologne (much earlier in the war the
target for the first RAF 1000 bomber raid). I felt a wee bit like the Pope on the
occasion many years later when he kissed the ground on landing at Glasgow Airport!

Wednesday 1st November
The papers for my commission were duly handed in to the Station Administration
Office. This should have happened on 1st October but I had been told then because of
shortage of officer accommodation to delay this process for a month. Bob had been
disappointed but determined he was not going to be the only member of the crew in
the Officers’ Mess, hence the priority for today’s lodging of my papers. Although Bob
was posted missing as a Flight Sergeant, he was reported killed in action as a Pilot
Officer and this is the inscription on his gravestone at Hotton.

Thursday 2nd November
We were on standby for any operation scheduled to take off before midnight, after
which time a crew returning from leave today would take over.

Our priority therefore was to visit Pay Accounts to arrange to get our fortnight’s pay
(one week in advance) with a view to making a quick get away from York early next
morning. The accounts officer refused to co-operate on the grounds that we might be
flying that night and if by any chance we failed to return he would have given us a
week’s pay to which we were not entitled! Bob was in full flow telling him how
unreasonable he was to prevent our planned early departure when the tannoy blared
out “all 462 Squadron crews report to the Briefing Room” – end of pay negotiations!

A standard pre-op preliminary was a flying breakfast usually bacon or steak and eggs
in the Mess. I remember that evening listening to two blokes in the queue in front of
me talking about two of their mates who were due to go on leave and had failed to
return from the Cologne raid. Jokingly, I joined in the conversation saying I didn’t
believe in coincidences, but that I was due to go on leave the next day – 3rd
November! Motto: One should never tempt fate!

Our bomb aimer, Canadian Jim Latimer, had reported sick earlier in the day, so we
had as his replacement Flying Officer Bunny Smith who volunteered to fly with us as
a “spare bod”. He had almost completed his tour as Colin Jackson’s bomb aimer, so
we were happy with an Australian of his experience. Our crew for the fateful trip
was therefore:-

Pilot – Flight Sergeant R R Mitchell, A418452
Navigator – Sergeant W McCorkindale, 1568425
Wireless Op – Warrant Officer R W Scott, A418184
Flight Engineer – Sergeant A Kellard, 2205580
Bomb Aimer – Flying Officer R J Smith, A412060
Mid Upper Gunner – Flight Sergeant T L McGuire, A430548
Rear Gunner – Flight Sergeant A E Thornton, A436120

We flew in Halifax III MZ401D with flight plan
DRIFFIELD -> READING -> BEACHY HEAD -> 50 20’N 01 30E ->
51 33N 05 50’E -> 51 33’N 06 52E -> 50 28’N 06 00E -> 50 20’N 03 20’E ->
ORFORDNESS ->DRIFFIELD

So where are they now?
Bob and Bert were killed in action and are buried at Hotton, near Liege.
Alf Kellard, Jim Latimer, Bunny Smith and I lost contact when the war finished.
Terry McGuire corresponded regularly till 1983 when we lost touch. Both Margaret
and Terry died in the new millennium – information source RAAF records in
Australia with the help of Barry Stephen FFA now living in Sydney.
Ron Scott – I met him and heard his amazing story when he was part of the Australian
Victory Parade Contingent in 1945. We have had no contact since that time, but
Terry used to report on him occasionally over the years. Alf was 12 years older than
us young ones and Scotty 5 years older. If they are still to the fore they are of a ripe
old age!
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Memoir Part 2 – The Story of a Bomber Command Halifax Navigator during World War II ...... [ This "sanitised" version of his war experience was written in the late 1990s, for his Grandson to take to school annually for Remembrance Day, with Bill's age at the commencement of the story changed each year to match with his actual age. ]

My name is William McCorkindale, but most people call me Bill. I am 81 years old
now, but I still remember my time in the war very well. I was a navigator in the
Royal Air Force’s Bomber Command when I was a young man. This means that it
was my job to make sure the ‘plane went to the right places at the right time. I
needed to use special navigation equipment and do lots of sums: a road map is not
very good when you are up in the sky at night! After being shot down on the 2nd
November 1944 I spent the last 5 months of the war in various German Prisoner of
War camps.

The day before our Halifax ‘plane was shot down, we had been very lucky: our tail
‘plane elevator had been badly damaged by flak but we had been able to land the
‘plane before the controls completely snapped! We were all really looking forward to
a week’s leave on 3rd November as we all needed a bit of a  holiday … what a
shame we never got it! I was also due to be “promoted” to Officer status, and handed
in my papers the day before our fateful flight, but that was another thing that I never
actually got to enjoy.

On Thursday 2nd November 1944 we were on standby for any operation raid before
midnight. The tannoy suddenly blared out “all 462 Squadron crews report to the
"Briefing Room” so off we went. We had our usual pre-operation breakfast of bacon
or steak and eggs before we got ready for our flight. The target for this one was the
German town of Düsseldorf. The trip to the target was relatively uneventful. We
dropped our bombs in the usual Ruhr heavy flak and soon heading for home.
Suddenly, Bert Thornton (Rear Gunner) rapped out on the intercom the action
command “corkscrew starboard. Go!" Some seconds later I heard shells thudding
into our Halifax, and the starboard wing with fuel tanks was on fire. Bob Mitchell
(Skipper) gave the order to “abandon aircraft”. My response was immediate. I tipped
my desk and seat to clear the way and then removed the escape hatch cover in the
floor, handing it back to Ron Scott (Wireless Operator). I clipped on my parachute,
forgetting that I had left my watch on the tipped up desk, and removed my helmet – so
goodbye to the intercom – and the only sound in my ears was that of the slip stream
coming through the escape hatch. I then lowered myself to a sitting position with my
legs dangling out of the aeroplane. The thoughts going through my mind were not
fear of making my first-ever parachute jump, but rather that if we could only stay in
the air for another five minutes or so we would be over Allied lines. Scotty, nudging
me with his boot, disturbed my thoughts and convinced me that I had to go! I
remember having my hand on the ripcord handle as I launched myself but I don’t
remember pulling it. A sudden jerk on my harness told me that my parachute had
opened and as I floated down I discovered that I was still holding the handle so I
threw it away. All this, I was later to learn, was more or less normal experience for
first-timers. When I think about it now, I reckon I had baled out at about 10,000 feet
and I think I saw the last minutes of our burning aircraft as it disappeared in the
distance.

After what seemed like an eternity, I eventually landed in a tree about fifteen feet
above the ground, released my harness and climbed down. It was a crisp moonlit but
slightly foggy evening and once I had gathered my scattered wits I opened my escape
kit which I carried in my battledress shirt and I used the little compass to walk
towards (I  hoped) Düren and Aachen where I knew the American forces had made a
dent in the German army lines. In my escape kit I also had some high-energy food,
which was like extra-sweet fudge (a real tooth-rotter!).  At first I was walking
through fields and then I decided that I would probably look more normal if I walked
on the road. This I did, but after a while found myself approaching a railway crossing
where, in the moonlight, I could just see two figures. One turned out to be the railway
signalman and the other a German soldier on guard duty. I was too late to avoid
passing within a few yards of them and since I was wearing flying boots and
battledress I expected to be challenged. I heard some greeting to which I replied with
a grunt in my best German (which was nil) and kept on walking. At any second I
expected to hear a crack of a rifle – but nothing happened and I was soon out of
earshot and once more alone with my thoughts. These mainly centred on the fact that
it was just possible I may have been the only member of the crew to land on the
wrong side of the Allied lines. It was, indeed, a lonely feeling! After walking
perhaps for about four hours since landing in the tree I was convinced that I was
somewhere near the German lines. I could hear distant gunfire and suddenly I was
aware of marching footsteps. I left the road and entered what I thought was a wood,
when suddenly I found myself at the wrong end of a German rifle glinting in the
moonlight and being challenged by a sentry. I couldn’t understand what he was
saying but I knew what he meant. I had in fact dodged off the road into an anti-
aircraft battery. In the morning I was amazed to see the ‘trees’ were guns
elaborately camouflaged and that the gun crews’ quarters were mainly underground.

That was where I heard the saying “for you, the war is over” for the first time, and
thus began my life as a prisoner of war (POW).

The next day, a very young German soldier escorted me into Cologne Airport Jail. I
was put into a cell and had my first real interrogation. I remember that on one side of
the doorway of the cell an American prisoner had written “through this door pass the
finest airmen in the world”, and several airmen had signed their names. On the other
side of the doorway, the RAF had added their signatures: so I wrote my name down
too! Later, when Terry McGuire (our Mid Upper Gunner) was held prisoner in that
cell he added his name, now knowing that I was still alive. On the following night I
had company, as Alf Kellard, our flight engineer, and “Bunny” Smith, bomb aimer,
joined me in my cell. Some time later Alf told me that he was sure that our skipper,
Bob Mitchell, had only the use of one arm as he gave him his parachute, the other
injured by flak or cannon fire. German interrogators later told me that Bob, my best
friend, had been killed when the ‘plane crashed. They told me that Bert Thornton was
also dead. Both Bob and Bert are now buried in the Commonwealth War Graves
Commission Cemetery in the small town of Hotton in Belgium.

As a POW I was in a camp with other lads from the RAF, surrounded by barbed wire,
high fences and lookout towers. I had to go on several long forced marches across
Germany and to the Polish border. At one point I was even in the camp made famous
by the film “The Great Escape”. It was not a nice time at all: the food was terrible
and there was not enough of it (thank goodness for the Red Cross food parcels); there
were hours with nothing to do (no television, CD players, or computer games in those
days and we didn’t even have many books); and you were in rooms full of men 
sleeping in 3 layer bunk beds which were very uncomfortable! It was bitterly cold a
lot of the time, and was a very unpleasant experience.

A few stories stick in my mind, however. The German soldiers knew that
somewhere in our room was a crystal radio set, which was used to find out what was
happening back in Britain. The German soldiers would regularly come and tear our
room apart, throwing bedding and clothes all over the place and getting crosser and
crosser! The funny thing was, the radio was under their noses all the time in a little
tin of milk powder right in the middle of the table! It was great to see them getting so
worked up, but it might have been a bit different if one of them had wanted to make a
cup of tea!

At the end of the war, when the Germans were aware that the Allies would be coming
to rescue us, I actually managed to escape the camp. I stole my Prisoner
Identity papers from the office (I didn’t want anyone to later know that I had
escaped), and set off! Eventually, I was found by some American soldiers who
helped me get back to Britain.

And what of the rest of my crew?  Bob and Bert, killed in action, are buried at a
beautiful war cemetery in Belgium. Terry McGuire survived the war, and died in
2000 in his native Australia. Ron Scott, Alf Kellard and “Bunny” Smith also
survived the war, but we lost contact.

On Remembrance Day I shall wear my poppy with great pride and more than a little
sadness when I remember my lost friends, Bob and Bert. But they, and the many
thousands of young men and women who died in the war serving their countries, can
all be remembered by you when you wear your poppies on Armistice Day.
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Aircraft Loss

Halifax III MZ401 Z5-D – Failed to Return from a night Op to Düsseldorf on 2 November 1944 and listed as Missing.

Fifteen Halifax aircraft from 462 Squadron took off at regular intervals from 1556, with MZ401 the third at 1558, and the last at 1641.
The target was bombed between 1926 and 1933 (bombing times only recorded for the thirteen aircraft that returned i.e. 1926, two at 1928, two at 1929, three at 1930.5, three at 1931, 1931.25, 1933).
Bombing height varied from 17000 to 19000 feet.
Thirteen aircraft returned, landing at Driffield between 2137 and 2208 (Mitchell and Jubb crew failed to return).

From Nav McCorkindale's notes – the flight plan for the night op to Düsseldorf was
Driffield – Reading – Beachy Head – 50 20N 01 30E – 51 33N 05 50E –
– 51 33N 06 52E – 50 28N 06 00E – 50 20N 03 20E – Orford Ness – Driffield

His notes recorded their bomb load as 1 x 2000 lb MC; 4 x 1000 lb SAP; 1 x 1000 lb 37 LD; 6 x 500 lb GP AM
(total 10,000 lb; bomb loads not recorded in ORB for any aircraft on that night).
If they had been attacked and set on fire with the full bomb load, all seven of the crew would probably have been killed.

Quotes from the book "The Other Battle" by Peter Hinchliffe (details in Acknowledgements), of relevance to this crew ......
Page 307, para 2 – "Then, on the night of 2/3 November, it was the turn of Düsseldorf to suffer yet again. Out of 961 four-engined bombers, the German night fighters managed to shoot down the majority of the nineteen that did not return."
Para 3 – "The attack on Düsseldorf was highly concentrated, causing vast damage in the city and heavy casualties among the population. .......... The most successful fighter pilot that night ........ of I./NGJ 1 ...... one of the ten fighters circling Düsseldorf when the bombers arrived ..... shot down six. ........ It was a good night for II./NJG 2, stationed at Cologne/Butzweilerhof, only a short distance away from the bombing target. The most successful pilot from the Gruppe was their Commanding Officer, Major Paul Semrau, who achieved his first kill on that sortie at 1917 hours and his fourth twenty-three minutes later. (i.e. at 1940 hours)

The 462 Squadron ORB records the Mitchell crew's departure in MZ401 from Driffield at 1558. Nav Bill McCorkindale's log book records lift off at 1600, and "Baled out at 1937". Post war note added – "attacked and set upon by night fighter on the way home."
This corresponds with the Night Fighter claim, and Nav Bill McCorkindale believed that, after bombing Düsseldorf, the Mitchell Crew's Halifax MZ401 was Semrau's fourth kill.

 

Further details to be added from RAAF 462 Squadron Aircraft Loss File, and five RAAF A705 Casualty Files from the National Archives of Australia – please visit again.
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